Links Out December 16


It wasn’t quite the YSL sale, but Art Beast has an of account of the auction of Audrey Hepburn’s couture clothing. It’s just a fraction of the late actress’ wardrobe, and a lasting tentament to her 22-inch waist.

Perhaps it’s to the estate of Audrey Hepburn that all funds have gone. By far the scariest news of the week comes from Bloomberg, reporting that annual sales of contemporary art dropped 75 percent from 2008 to 2009, at lest by the measure of the two largest auction houses’ evening. Sotheby’s and Christie’s brought in a combined $482.3 million with fees In 2008, down from $1.97 billion last year. The record in pre-recession 2007 was $2.4 billion. If bringing in money is a problem for the auction houses, keeping assets is another for the Smithsonian Institute. In the last five years, the museum has lost more than $12 million in personal property, including 89 laptops. A Congressional committee revealed that only one person has been made accountable for $40 of that total.

Not all is lost in the world of art this week. France relinquished the disputed artifacts fromt he Luxor Tomb, returning them to Egypt and ending a long-standing feud. North America may get a new tallest building, with a Chicago union boss reviewing Santiago Calatrava’s proposed, recession-halted Spire building. And the New York Times reports that the Hirschhorn Museum will get a new, inflatable addition by Diller Scofidio & Renfro. That’s a bubble, and hopefully one to beat bursting economic ones.